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How does electronic power steering work?

Do you understand how electronic power steering works?

With gas prices in Toronto hitting an all-time high earlier this year, it’s more important than ever to discover ways to become more fuel efficient. One system that was created to help increase fuel efficiency is electronic power steering (EPS). However, unless you’re a mechanic or auto-nut, you likely don’t understand how it works.

Read ahead to learn more about EPS:

What is it made up of?

Electronic power steering or electronic power assisted steering (EPAS) is comprised of four main parts; the motor, reduction gear, torque sensor, and a module that collects and sends out information.

How does it work?

Despite what you may have heard, EPS systems still use the classic rack and pinion set up, which is controlled by the module. The module collects information from the torque sensor to help determine how much assistance is needed by the driver. The module may also take other information from other areas such as the traction control system in order to get a more accurate reading. The module will then send that data to the motor in order to provide the proper amount of rotation when steering.

What if the system fails?

If the EPS system fails, it will be much heavier and difficult to steer. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, it’s important to pull over immediately to avoid any serious collision.

Advantages

Since there is no fuel needed to run the steering pump, your vehicle doesn’t have to use as much gas to get from point A to B, thus improving your fuel economy. It’s also a lighter and more accurate system, making it more efficient and effective compared to your classic hydraulic steering system.

Because EPS systems are less complex than hydraulic systems, they are easier for manufacturers to make. Also, because there are no fuels involved, they are also easier for car owners to maintain. You also don’t have to worry about running into a leak with your system down the line, which may became a problem with many hydraulic systems.

Does my vehicle use EPS?

Chances are, if you own a modern vehicle, your vehicle is equipped with electronic power steering. Also, if your car has any driver assist technology, such as lane keep assist (LKA) or electronic stability control (ESC), you can be assured that it has EPS, as those systems rely on it. Therefore, not only will EPS help your vehicle’s fuel economy, but it will also make you safer behind the wheel.

If you’re in the market for an older used car, you should consider asking whether its equipped with EPS.